Last Tuesday, March 5th, around 10 a.m., a man I had been introduced to only minutes earlier, tried half-heartedly to contain his bizarre disdain for me.
Funny thing is, I was told that he was the very man who would be offering me a job and paying me a very nice salary for it. Since there was a potential job in the mix and it was still early, I decided to ignore the behavior, stick around, and help myself to some scrambled eggs. Maybe he hadn’t had his coffee yet.
To me, getting paid a hefty salary doing a job is not a fulfilling way to live. It is not a career, it is merely “a job”. Money brings no passion, no meaning to life. No joy. Doing something that helps people, that helps make the world a better place; now that is a career. Don’t get me wrong; I certainly appreciate money and lots of it, but I want to earn it by doing something I love and by doing something that will help improve the lives of others.
The night before this early morning meeting I had been invited to, I did not have a good gut feeling about it. In fact, I was not looking forward to going and even felt a sense of dread. I should have listened to my gut. I swear, it never lies to me. Yet sometimes, though rarely, I ignore it. Obviously, this was one of those times.
The ironic thing about this meeting is that it was a “community meeting”. It was a meeting with many different organizations representing just about every color, religion, political issue, etc. It was a meeting of the minds to see how we could all come together to help people. To help each other. After the larger group meeting ended, I was to meet with this man and 3 other men. The smaller meeting is where I was to learn more about-and be offered-this amazing job I had been told about by the man who had invited me.
Bear with me. You should know by now I write for a couple of reasons; one, because it’s therapeutic, and two, to let others know I understand and hear them. We have all either been through hell, are going through it now, or have just escaped it.
After most of the people left the room from the larger, community meeting, I was introduced to the other 2 men who were part of the small meeting that was about to begin. The man introducing me was very respectful, very kind, and even reverent towards me. Before he could finish his brief intro, though, the man who was allegedly going to ask me to join this team and offer me this wonderful new job, sighed this huge sigh of irritation. Believe me, I wasn’t imagining things.
The other men didn’t seem to notice, so the introduction continued. It wasn’t a long one; it was just an introduction, but to the man with all the money and power, it must have felt like a lifetime. He sighed again and added a squirm to his second sigh. To me, it was obvious he wanted to shout something like, “Just shut the hell up and let’s get on with this. Can we?”
Sure enough, he interrupted the 2 minute intro, looks at me and says, “How can we help you? “What do you want us to do for you?” I was a bit taken back because I had been told he already knew why I had been invited. That I was looking for work that had anything related to helping people, the community, saving lives, etc. I had even been told that this man was “looking very forward to meeting me”.
He said to me, with both anger and frustration, that no one was going to hire me. Not ever. He then asked, “How much can a person get paid for being part of a speaking circuit?” I answered anywhere from $5,000 and up. He said, “Exactly. Why would any police agency or anyone else for that matter, hire you when they all know you will leave them in a year or two to go on a speaking circuit? It costs around $90,000 to hire a new officer. You think they’re even going to look at you when they know your motives?”
I was stunned. This man who I was told was so wonderful, caring, compassionate and giving, was “predicting” my future and telling me what he thought was in my heart when he had no clue what he was talking about. My heart and my passion have always been to protect people, preserve lives, and to bring justice to the countless people of all races, ages, religions, etc. who have been bullied by crime and criminals-and some even by the police themselves. And remember, I was a police officer myself for several years before my own career was stolen from me. Trust me, I know what I’m talking about.
This man worked himself up so much in his out-of-place, out-of-line lecture to me, I finally just said, “Would you like me to leave?” He then snapped, “Yes! We’re trying to have a meeting here!”
The other 3 men looked at him to see if he was joking. He wasn’t. They were all just as surprised as I was at this man’s odd behavior.
I acted like nothing was wrong, though. I just smiled and said it was probably a good thing since I had so much to do that day. I told every man-even the one who disliked me-that it was very nice meeting them all and thanked them for their time.
I have to admit though, I wasn’t really okay. I mean, I was fine, but only on the outside. What had caused him to attack and accuse and make up allegations about what he thought my career motives were?
I’ll tell you what, though; I never stop trying and I never give up. I never give up hope. I have been told many times, even saying it to myself, that God closes one door and opens another. My question, and I know it is the question of many of you, is when will this other door finally open and stay open? Each time another door seems to open, I don’t ever hesitate to venture through it, yet the door seems to shut in my face before I’ve gotten both legs through it. And I think one of the most insensitive things a person can say to another is, “It’s all in God’s timing.” That is the most irritating, discomforting, and discouraging thing anyone can say to someone who is still waiting and doing their very best to cling to hope. I do have hope, though, and lots of it, despite everything.
My beloved cat, my wonderful companion, and by far the best and most faithful friend I’ve ever had, Kleetus, had to be euthanized this year on January 26th. I am not a crier, but that day I cried hard and I cried a lot. I have never in my life experienced such pain and grief that deeply.
But this past Thursday, March 7th, I drove to Utah with my good friend Lisa and brought home with me my new kitty, Rudie. He looks just like Kleetus and his personality is just as big. He won’t ever replace Kleetus, but he has most certainly erased the pain and replaced the large piece of my heart that died with my baby boy.
Rudie isn’t my dream job, he is not my life-long partner I still search for, but he is hope in another form, and he’s just as beautiful as every other gift God has given me.
I forgive this man whose anger towards me was perplexing and unwarranted. I forgive him because I have no idea what may have triggered it, nor do I have the right to judge him.
What I do have and will never let go of, is hope, a future, God in heaven, and Rudie.
And everything is going to be alright.